Quote of the day—José Niño

The ATF has been an object of ire for many gun owners because of the agency’s grossly unconstitutional actions, ranging from its gruesome crackdown against innocent civilians during the Waco Massacre of 1993 to the infamous “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal that resulted in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010.

If there is one institution that should be defunded, if not outright abolished, it’s the ATF.

José Niño
June 20, 2021
A Bipartisan Team of House Representatives is Trying to Hold the ATF Accountable
[Probably 99% or more of the current Federal government is unconstitutional. But starting with the worst of the worst is better than nothing at all.

That said, as Publius said recently:

I think we should get rid of the unconstitutional laws first, then get rid of (no longer necessary) enforcement.

Otherwise I think it’s an exercise in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. There are MANY alphabet soup agencies who would be willing to take up the slack in your scenario, and I would bet that they would be hiring a lot of ex-ATF agents to do the work.

I could also it also being done simultaneously with a single bill. Or, I could see it being done incrementally with things funding decreasing as they eliminate regulation of suppressors, then short barreled rifles, sawed off shotguns, eliminate FFLs, etc..

But in some ways this doesn’t address the basis of many of the complaints. There really should be a bunch of ATF people prosecuted and sent to prison. But firing them and elimination of the laws they are enforcing would probably be enough to satisfy most people.—Joe]


5 thoughts on “Quote of the day—José Niño

  1. We should not forget that it was the FBI that took over both the Ruby Ridge and Waco operations. And finished them in grand government style.
    But as the left is fond of saying. It’s a good first step. Getting rid of the ATF.
    To me, all kinetic operations should have to go through one agency. All enforcement should be through an agency like the US Marshall service. That way the ATF would have to prove themselves- have all their ducks in order, before it hit the street. And people get hurt and murdered.
    Not just be able to dream up some hair-ball idea. Hype themselves into action. Then play cover-up when it all goes bad.

    • Actually, the first round of killings at Ruby Ridge WAS the US Marshalls. The ATF did the entrapment but the Marshall’s came out on a FTA warrant of questionable validity. They chose to sneak up through the woods. They were discovered by a Weaver dog which they shot and the situation spiraled into a firefight in which Weaver’s son and a marshal were killed. Harris was tried for killing the marshal and acquitted on self- defense grounds. Seems reasonable since Weaver’s son and dog were killed by unknown (to Harris at the time) parties on the Weaver property. Harris was armed with a 1917 Enfield which supports his statement that he thought the dogs had initially been alerted by wild game. I have been in the area and the area abounds with game including dangerous animals.

      Only then did the FBI take over for more killings. Also the Federal District judge and the US Attorney were bad actors here. And last but not least AG Bill Barr facilitated the coverup. So count me as agreeing with Publius that the laws are the problem. And if the laws stay and ATF goes away, the laws will be enforced by other sketchy Federal agencies. Oh, and the Marshalls Service signed off on the extraordinarily deadly Rules of Engagement for the FBI attack.

  2. ”The ATF has been an object of ire for many gun owners”

    It should be an object of ire for anyone who values liberty or justice.

    I still have a hard time comprehending how a bureau of alcohol, tobacco
    & firearms could ever have been tolerated within the United States.

    The history of over-reach and evil from the bureau should serve as a warning, to everyone, of how a supposed “revenue raising measure” can, and will, turn into something else entirely.

    And I agree completely— The anti-constitutional laws have to go away, otherwise the aggression will be performed by some other department. I’m for defunding the Bureau by some major percentage, as start, if it must be done incrementally, but in the meantime outright repeal of the NFA, GCA and all the rest should be the ever-present goal.

    Of course, incremental removal of a criminal injustice is far from real justice. This reminds me of the Nobel committee giving the Peace Prize to a mass murdering dictator because he murdered fewer people last year compared to the year before, and by golly that’s progress, and it need to be rewarded!

    Sanity is hard to come by in an insane world. At some point, if justice is to be acquired by Man, both sides would have to roll out their Guillotines and keep them in operation until one side has utterly and forever obliterated the other. But of course that would never result in real justice, but only more brutal tyranny.

    In fact there is no Earthly solution, but for sure, enforcing the U.S. constitution, particularly the founding principles of liberty, against all enemies foreign and domestic, and really meaning it, would be a good thing.

    What would that actually take though? How many people have ever even thought of that?

    Let’s have some war game scenarios of what an honest to God upholding and protecting of the American Principles of Liberty, within constitutional law, would actually look like.

    I’ll start— For example, surely the Democratic Party, and most of the Republican Party, and all of the Marxist unions, secret societies, all Catholic and Jesuit leadership, and all their connected organizations and institutions, would have to be removed from within our borders.

    What’s your picture of a healthy and robust defense of American Principles of Liberty?

    • “I still have a hard time comprehending how a bureau of alcohol, tobacco & firearms could ever have been tolerated within the United States.” — agreed. But the unfortunate reality is that the Constitution has been trampled and pissed upon by politicians of all three branches pretty much from the time that the ink on it first dried. Way back in 1803, St. George Tucker described this in detail in his book on the Constitution. That’s free for the download and very much worth reading.
      In particular, the number of judges who obey the Constitution (as they are required to do by their oath of office) can be counted, optimistically, on the fingers of my hands.

  3. It’s not just that some other agency would pick up the bureaucratic slack and hire most of the agents. It’s actually far worse than that.

    One thing to keep in mind about the ATF is that everyone knows that they’re bad actors. That plays to our benefit in ways that most gun owners don’t understand.

    The best comparison is NFA Branch vs NICS Appeals. NFA applications have been trending steadily upwards over the last ~15 years, to the point that 6-12 months is fairly common. That isn’t because they’re trying to keep things slow, but because the volume of paper keeps increasing, and ATF doesn’t have the funding to fix things through the application of technology and manpower. So congress gives them money to hire more people, approval times go down, more people start applying, and within a few months approval times start creeping back up again.

    Whenever approval times creep up, Congress gets bombarded with complaints, and they express their ire at ATF both publicly and privately.

    Compare that to NICS Appeals–When the 2013 panic was in full swing, FBI decided that it didn’t have the manpower to handle both NICS checks and NICS Appeals, so FBI unilaterally decided to shut down the NICS Appeals branch for somewhere around 2 years. The last I checked, NICS Appeals were STILL running 2+ years from application to initial response. As far as I know, no member of congress has ever commented on that issue publicly.

    So by eliminating the ATF without eliminating the laws it enforces we’d be shifting regulatory responsibility from an agency that is presumed to be maliciously slowing down paperwork whenever their workload doubles, to an agency that got away with denying tens of thousands of innocent people their RKBA for multiple years at a time for nearly a decade.

    That’s not a rational trade.

    ATF is bad for us without a doubt, but the hard fact is that any other regulatory agency that would take over from ATF would be FAR worse.

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